With fine weather and a solid crowd backing him, Bruce Robb continued on his winning streak, adding the Cupar Highland Games title to his 2009 victory list.
2009 Cupar Highland Games
Reported by Francis Brebner
The Cupar Highland Games in Duffus Park, Scotland had a great day of weather and more than 3,500 spectators and tourists who come through the gates, some of whom had traveled from as far as Russia, Canada, New Zealand, and China to watch our heavy athletes do battle and to get a firsthand taste of the fine Scottish culture. Amongst the athlete lineup was the eleven-time New Zealand Highland Games champion Pat Hellier, who had arrived only on Saturday. He did not waste any time and got right into the thick of competition the following day at the Cupar Games.
Pat will be representing New Zealand in the IHGF World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland on 25 - 26 July, and he arrived early in Scotland to acclimatize and get in as much competition and preparation as possible before the World Championships, a very wise decision on his part.
The heavy events opened with the 16-lb. shot, with Bruce Robb smashing the ground record with a put of 53’ 9”. This record was previously held by Gregor Edmunds of Scotland with a distance of 53’ 1”. In second place was the New Zealander Pat Hellier at 50’ 9”, and in third place was Neil Elliot at 47’ 5”. In the 22-lb. shot Bruce Robb notched another win with a very good put of 44’ 7”; in second place was Hellier at 42’ 6” and in third, Elliot at 39’.
The 28-lb. weight for distance was a real battle between Robb and Craig Sinclair, with Robb just going ahead of Sinclair for his third straight win with a throw of 82’ 2”. Sinclair was inches behind in second with 81’ 6”, and Hellier was in third spot at 77’ 10”. But with the 16-lb. light hammer, Sinclair still showed that he was top dog with the hammers and the man to beat in Scotland with a first place win of 126’. In second was Hellier at 119’ 4” and in third was Robb at 118’ 5”.
The 22-lb. heavy hammer also was claimed by Sinclair with a winning throw of 106’ 4”. Robb managed to pull out 102’ 6” for second place over the New Zealander Hellier, who had to settle for third with his throw of 98’ 7”.
In the 56-lb. weight over the bar, Robb excelled with a winning height of 15’; second was Sinclair with 14’ 6” and third was Hellier with 14’. The final event was the caber toss, with a 19’, 125-lb. implement. Robb showed great form, with a winning toss of 12:06; second was Elliot with 12:10 and in third equal were Sinclair and Hellier with 75 degrees. Overall top three:
1. Bruce Robb 32 points
2. Craig Sinclair 24.5
3. Pat Hellier 23.5
Bruce Robb has had almost a clean sweep so far this season in Scotland, taking first overall in nearly every competition he’s been in. He should prove to be a strong contender at this year’s IHGF World Championships if he can maintain his dominating peak performance. The next Games for the athletes on the Scottish circuit will be Alva on 11 July and Stirling on 12 July.